Fear of muggers drives people to online shops

But is it safer to shop on the web?

One in four shoppers is too scared about getting mugged to do their Christmas shopping on the high street, a new survey shows.

Telindus , a company specialising in security solutions for businesses, said that nearly half of the surveyed shoppers worry about pick-pockets or being mugged. Some 23 per cent said they were so concerned they preferred to shop online.

However, online shopping is not necessarily safer, other surveys show. Web shoppers are taking unnecessary risks - especially around Christmas, a recent Websense study showed.

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It found that many shoppers are more concerned about finding bargain Christmas presents and making sure they are delivered on time than checking if a website is secure or not.

An NOP survey showed that nearly half of those questioned said security was the biggest reason why they wouldn't shop online .

Another survey found that two in three shoppers have abandoned a web purchase after fears that the website was not secure. VeriSign said that businesses must make security on their websites visible and easy to understand. Anna Lagerkvist